Review: Amazing Agent Luna

Amazing Agent Luna
Writers: Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir
Artist: Shiei
Publisher: Seven Seas

Amazing Agent Luna mixes a crazy sci-fi plot, ninja action, and romance in a schoolgirl story that doesn’t quite live up to its potential but is still a good read for a summer’s day.

Luna is a test-tube teen, grown in a lab from special genetic material and raised in isolation to be a ruthless secret agent. She’s sent to Nobel High School to figure out why the evil Count von Brucken is taking such an interest in the school. Could it be simple fatherly interest, since his hunky son Jonah just started there? Nope. He’s cooking up a plot to (spoilers ahead!) clone owls and give them human personalities, a plot that will be familiar to watchers of Saturday morning TV. The bad guys kidnap the school principal, the delightfully ditzy Miss Ohlinger, and swap her personality with an owl’s.

Luna has the standard group of classmates: mean-girl Elizabeth, sweet Francesca, handsome rebel Jonah, and nice-guy skateboarder Oliver, who has a crush on Luna but knows he’s doomed to be the perpetual friend. Luna and Jonah are attracted to one another, but various complications (including Elizabeth) conspire to keep them apart. The characters get more complex, and interesting, as the series goes on. At home, Luna’s surrogate family consists of her control agent, the steely but sexy Control, and sensitive-guy psychologist Andrew Collins.

This scenario presents plenty of opportunities for comedy and intrigue—Luna’s cluelessness, her mixed feelings about Jonah, the interplay between Control and Collins—but the writers don’t always exploit them. The strongest volume is volume 2, which had both my husband and I laughing out loud when the writers sent the evil count and Control’s control-freak parents to the school for Parents’ Day. This volume combined fresh humor with flashes of real insight, and I almost forgot about the cloned-owls thing.

The owls come back in Volume 3, which begins with a much darker scenario: Luna remembers seing Control kill a woman to keep her identity a secret, and she realizes that she will never have real friends. There is more ninja action as Luna rescues Miss Ohlinger and foils the count once more. The book ends on a promising note as the students are introduced to a new teacher: Control.

Overall, the intrigue is weak and won’t set your heart pounding, but the characters are interesting enough to make this a pleasant read, and I hope the writers break their stereotyped roles a bit more. Shiei’s clean-lined art is easy on the eye. This series would be a great choice for pre-teens, but it has enough personality to amuse older readers as well.

(Volume 3 was a review copy provided by the publisher, but volumes 1 and 2 were purchased by the sweat of my brow.)

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